Lofton's Ankle A Sprain Not A Break

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The good news for Tennessee Junior chris Lofton is that x-rays on his sprained right ankle are negative. The bad news for the Volunteers is that he likely will miss one game.

Lofton hurt his ankle in last weekend's victory over South Carolina.

Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl said Monday x-rays on Lofton's ankle were negative for any fractures. He also says Lofton is most likely going to be out Wednesday night when the Vols visit Mississippi.

The Vols visit Kentucky on Sunday. Lofton was Kentucky's Mister Basketball in 2004, when he led Mason County to the State Championship.

Pearl isn't predicting how long Lofton will be out except to say it's potentially a three-week ankle sprain.

Your WVLT, Volunteer TV Sports Overtime Team will have the latest on Lofton's condition, coming up on Volunteer TV News.

Again, Wednesday's game versus Ole' Miss at 8:00p is on the radio only. Bob Kesling has the call on the Vol Radio Network, 107.7 FM, WIVK.

Here's Coach Bruce Pearl's Weekly Q/A--

1. How long will Chris Lofton, who sprained his ankle Saturday, likely be sidelined?

A - "That's a question for the trainers. I know there is very little chance he will play Wednesday against Ole Miss. Beyond that, we just don't know. We found out it is a sprain, not a break. Is he out for a week? For two? For longer? There is no way of telling right now. He has responded well to treatment. The swelling has gone down."

2. In preparing for Ole Miss Wednesday (8E), how will you compensate for the absence of Lofton?

A - "When you lose any player, the others have to step up a little. When it's your best player, they have to step up a lot. We'll have guys move around and play different positions. There will be increased minutes for some. Having Jordan Howell back will help us as far as minutes are concerned. I think we have a good, solid, eight-man rotation."

3. Comment on JaJuan Smith's timely emergence from his recent scoring slump.

A - "It's important to have JaJuan playing well. He cares, and he's always been a good defensive player. We want him to be a more consistent offensive player."

4. Ole Miss has suffered some losses, but how much improvement have the Rebels made in recent games?

A - "They've made tremendous improvement. Look who they have played. They lost at Florida, at LSU and at Mississippi State. A lot of teams will lose at those places. They are a very big, strong and physical team. It is a senior and junior squad."

5. Describe the play of the Kentucky Wildcats, the team Tennessee faces Sunday, 1:00p CBS & Volunteer TV in Lexington.

A - "Kentucky is playing really well. After some early losses, they have won 11 of their last 12 games and are playing terrific basketball. They have good balance, inside and out."

Updated: 01/22/07, 16:00 est

Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports & UT Sports Information